'Counting On': John David Duggar Reveals His More Lenient Courting Rules With Abbie Burnett

John David Duggar and Abbie Burnett decided to set their own physical boundaries when it came to courting ahead of their November 2018 wedding.

In Monday's season premiere of Counting On, which showed fans an up-close look at Duggar's proposal to his now-wife, the couple explained that their courtship was a little different than the other Duggar brothers and sisters, who refrain from anything except for a quick side hug every once and a while until marriage.

"[Our] courtship standards have been slightly different than some of my siblings," the 29-year-old Duggar brother explained. "We all get to make our decisions on what our standards are. We chose to be able to have some contact, versus no contact. So I'll put my arm around her, give her a hug. We felt that was appropriate in where we are at this stage of life. We are about ten years older than most of my siblings when they started courtship, so it feels like we're a little further down the road in terms of maturity in some areas."

Burnett, 26, continued that she and Duggar sat down at the start of their courtship to lay out specific guidelines for physical contact.

"Our main goal was to honor God and have no regrets," she shared with the cameras, with Duggar adding, "We're not going to kiss [before marriage]. We set very strict standards of what is okay and what's not okay."

The couple may have only courted for a short period of time, as is typical for the Duggars' faith, but he explained there was already such a strong connection between the two.

"Abbie and I have been courting for a couple of months now," Duggar explained. "We met on a Sunday morning at a church my parents were speaking at. Within the first week, it was almost like we already knew each other forever. Within two weeks of Abbie and I feeling like God was directing us toward a future together, we told my family, and they were just blown away."

Surprising Burnett with an airplane-themed proposal that brought her to the edge of tears, the couple was over the moon.

"I think the whole world must've stopped at that moment…because I don't remember much except John being there," Burnett gushed following the romantic gesture.

John's big sister, Jana Duggar, was so proud of her brother for the grand presentation. "John did incredible," she told the cameras. "It was a success and it was a surprise. Abbie didn't realize it was here and this was the moment until she actually looked at the room. It was good!"


Counting On airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.

Photo credit: TLC